Game 67

June 21, 1999 – Indians Score Walk-Off Run on Wild Pitch by Jose Mesa

Summer had arrived in Cleveland and the Indians were off to a strong start with 45 wins in their first 66 games. The Mariners were in town on this Monday night throwing Jamie Moyer against Bartolo Colon.

Colon and Moyer dueled through the early innings, and the score remained 0-0 until the bottom of the fifth. Alex Ramirez led off the Indians half of the inning with a ground-ball single to center. Jeff Manto executed a sacrifice bunt to move him over to second base, and Enrique Wilson drove Ramirez home with a line drive single to left.

Omar Vizquel led off the bottom of the sixth with a line drive single to center. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and stole third with Alex Ramirez at bat. With two outs on a 2-2 pitch, Ramirez shot a line drive through the hole on the left side of the infield scoring Vizquel and making the score 2-0 Indians.

Bartolo pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, but began to lose control in the top of the eighth. After striking out Russ Davis on four pitches, he gave up consecutive singles to Dan Wilson and Brian Hunter. He got Alex Rodriguez to pop out after an eight-pitch at bat and then the call was made for Paul Assenmacher to face Ken Griffey Junior.

Junior got the Mariners on the board with a line drive over second base, which scored Dan Wilson. Paul Shuey was brought in to replace Assenmacher. With Edgar Martinez at the plate, Brian Hunter and Junior executed a double steal. With both runners now in scoring position, Edgar looped a single into short right field and made the score 3-2 M’s.

Jeff Fassero came in to pitch for the Mariners, and started off strong. He struck out David Justice and got Ritchie Sexon to ground out weakly back to the mound. He issued a walk to Jim Thome, and then Alex Ramirez battled through an epic at-bat to draw an 11-pitch walk. Robbie Alomar came in to pinch hit for Jeff Manto and loaded the bases with a single. Enrique Wilson drew a six-pitch walk to push Thome across and tie the game 3-3.

The Indians had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, but Alex Ramirez struck out swinging to send the game into extra frames. The Mariners threatened several times, leaving runners on base in the tops of the tenth,  eleventh, and twelfth.

In the bottom of the eleventh, the Mariners brought on former Indians closer Jose Mesa to pitch to the heart of the Indians order. He faced off against Omar Vizquel to lead off the eleventh. This is one of the few times in his post-Indians career that Mesa did not intentionally throw at Vizquel. The tension of extra inning was evidently enough to set aside their long standing feud.

Mesa retired the Indians side in order in the eleventh, but ran into immediate trouble in the twelfth when Jim Thome led off with a single. Alex Ramirez executed a sacrifice bunt to move Thome into scoring position. Mesa intentionally walked Roberto Alomar to get to Enrique Wilson who singled to left to load the bases.

Mesa had recorded his first save against  the Indians earlier in the year, in Game 26 of 1999, but had not faced this kind of pressure cooker bases loaded situation against his former team. Facing Chris Turner, his pitch sailed inside and got past M’s catcher Dan Wilson. Thome scampered home for the walkoff win.

This was the Indians 9th win in 10 games and their 11th win of the season in their final at-bat.

Baseball Reference Box Score

Honorable Mention: June 27, 1936 – Roy Weatherly Records Two Triples in His First Major League Game

Baseball Reference Box Score